JAEN - The farms in Jaen in Spain provide a substantial amount of the total vegetable produce consumed across Europe and receive large farm subsidies from the EU. However, very often the people working on the farms are exploited and the environment is neglected.

It might seem that, in the olive oil industry in Spain, following the path of many others, modernisation is driving the market from small producers to big corporations, which are more organized and able to produce more efficiently. But the truth is they do not step on solid ground either.

In recent months, the market situation of Spanish olive oil is increasingly being compared with the housing bubble. In recent years, Spain has continued to increase the supply, causing a drop in price and a growth in speculation. The Spanish Chamber of Commerce records tell that, in 2012, 338,604 tons (41% of total exports) of olive oil were exported to Italy for 657 million euros, the average being 1,94 euros per kilo. The second country in the world buying more Spanish olive oil is Portugal, which acquired 90 006 tons (11% of exports) with an average of 2.02 euros per kilo.

Each year, more Spanish olive oil is sold to Portugal. This is symptomatic as Portugal is also the country that sells more olive oil to Spain. In 2012, Spain bought 25,409 tons (36% of imports) of Portuguese olive oil at an average price of 1.88 euros per kilo, this is, cheaper than sold.

Team members

Antonio Villarreal

Antonio Villarreal is a Spanish freelance journalist based in Madrid.

Antonio Villarreal

Anders Pedersen

Anders Pedersen is a Danish former journalist. He lives and works now in Washington DC.

Grant of €3.200, awarded on 13/12/2011


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